Faculty Publications

Title

University faculty tolerance of NS and NNS writing errors: A comparison

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Second Language Writing

Volume

1

Issue

2

First Page

109

Last Page

121

Abstract

University faculty tolerance of NNS writing errors is an issue that has been well researched. However, the question of how a university faculty's tolerance of NNS errors compares to its tolerance of similar errors committed by NS writers is one that has not been systematically addressed. This issue is significant in light of the growing trend within academia toward setting more rigorous standards of literacy, especially as more and more institutions are requiring candidates for graduation to demonstrate writing competency on a standardized writing exam. This article describes a study in which university faculty were asked to rate 24 sentences containing errors commonly committed by NNS writers on a 6-point scale of tolerance. Half the faculty were told they were rating NNS errors, whereas the other half rated errors that were identified as NS in origin. Results, although mixed, indicated that faculty were generally more tolerant of NNS errors than they were of errors they perceived as being made by NS students. These results raise the possibility that NNS university students may not be held to the same classroom standards of writing competence as their NS counterparts, and so may be placed at a disadvantage when obliged to take a writing competency exam. © 1992.

Original Publication Date

1-1-1992

DOI of published version

10.1016/1060-3743(92)90011-D

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